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SAF responds to inaccuracies in New York Times story

The Society of American Florists has responded to a New York Times story that mischaracterized aspects of the floral industry supply chain.

The story — which heralded the rise of young florists and growers who are using social media to connect with each other and promote a “wilder and stranger” design aesthetic — contained a number of inaccuracies and failed to note environmental and social efforts in Colombia, spearheaded by the group Florverde, wrote SAF CEO Peter Moran in a letter to New York Times editors and Needleman, herself the former editor of T and a founder of Domino, the interior design and lifestyle magazine.

“As the CEO of the Society of American Florists, which represents growers, wholesalers and florists, I have been to dozens of flower farms in Colombia, Ecuador, Holland and the United States,” Moran wrote. “Flower growers — both domestically and off shore — work hard to make environmental and social responsibility a priority, and are extremely frustrated when they see such accusations. It is of great concern to see inaccuracies stated as fact, with no source.”

Moran also wrote that he’d be happy to put Needleman in touch with growers in the U.S. and abroad, should she ever be interested in getting “an accurate portrayal of the floral industry as a whole.”

Moran emphasizes that it’s important for SAF, in representing the entire industry, to set the record straight when the industry is misrepresented. “Unwarranted accusations need to be addressed for the benefit of the entire industry,” he said. “A negative portrayal of any part of the industry hurts consumers’ perception of flowers as a whole.”


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